Carlos Javier Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and raised in Chicago. He served as a staff photographer for Chicago In The Year 2000, a year-long project documenting the city and its inhabitants.He went on to serve as a photojournalist for newspapers in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Currently, he is working on a cross-cultural youth violence project, which documents adolescents in Chicago and Guatemala that is sponsored by the Blue Earth Alliance. His project “Too Young To Die in 2008” was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. This year, a continuation of that project received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights’ Domestic Photography Award.